Serving a menu of Italian, Thai and Pacific Rim dishes, with a sumptuous array of deserts made on the premises and perfect 'illy espresso.
Our extensive menu allows us to cater for any occasion, be it a quiet afternoon tea or a full evening meal.
Phone/Fax 06 3578616
After hearing many fabulous praises of Bella's Café, my friend and I decided to see for ourselves if Bella's was as good as it sounded.
As we entered Bella's, I was impressed by the lovely wood floors, and the many pieces of art on the walls. Stairs led to an upstairs dining area. The lighting was very soft and romantic.
Our waiter showed us to a table for two. The table was a little on the small side for my liking, I enjoy a bit of elbow room. Once we sat down, our waiter gave us our menus and then walked away without another word. I was a little puzzled as usually this was the time the waiters run through the specials and other details, but thought perhaps they did not have any specials running that night. The waiter came back five minutes later. Drinks order was taken, and these were bought out to us.
The starters included breads, tapas or antipasto. We opted for the breads with dips. This was bought out to us in good time, and included four pieces of foccacia (two each) along with a pot of hummus, balsamic vinegar and pesto. The bread was warmed, and very fresh. The dips were very tasty, and there was just enough for both of us.
Bellas has a very good selection of mains. The pastas come in either a small or large serving, the small serving costing a very reasonable $14. There are a few salads on the menu, and various seafood dishes. The other side of the menu contained dishes such as beef fillet, fresh fish, lamb loin and pork loin - all sounding very nice indeed. Unfortunately my budget did not allow me to sample these, so I opted for the Maple kumera, bacon, pinenut and spinach salad which was an entrée dish. My friend chose the Fettuccine Pollo - a creamy chicken pasta. We also ordered a bowl of shoestring fries with garlic aioli to share.
Our mains arrive after ten minutes. My friend could hardly finish her small sized pasta as the serving was pretty generous. I had a taste and it was delicious, very rich and creamy. My salad was pretty good too, with lots of bacon and pinenuts. The garlic aioli was delicious and a great complement to the fries.
As we were eating our mains, we overheard our waiter explaining the soup of the day, fish of the day and specials to another table which had just arrived. As we looked around, other waiters were also asking diners if they would like freshly ground salt and pepper from their big wooden grinder sprinkled over their meal. We were a little puzzled as to why we had not been told the specials, nor been offered the grinder!
Perhaps the staff had just forgotten, but it was a bit of a let down.
A dessert menu was offered to us by a different waiter. This waiter was MUCH more enthusiastic and helpful. There is a choice of about 8 different desserts from the menu, or you can select a dessert from the cabinet. Cabinet choices were $8 each, and on offer that night was baked cheesecake, nut tarts, strawberry & chocolate cream mudcake, or berry shortcake. The menu selections all sounded equally as delicious, so we were having a difficult time choosing! The waiter came over and we asked him for his opinion on what we should choose. He recommended the frozen chocolate mousse.
Our desserts arrived after 5 minutes wait, and were presented beautifully. The mousse was a wonderful texture, very smooth and chocolatey. Stunning.
I asked to take a slice of the strawberry & chocolate cream mudcake home. There was no problem with this, it was packed up, berry coulis and cream included for me to take home. I must say for $8, the slice was a little meagre. Delicious, but for the price, the size was a let down.
As we went to pay, we were thanked by the lovely waiter which helped us with our desserts. Splitting the bill halves was no problem, we paid and were on our way.
A few issues such as the relaying of the specials and the grinder incident let Bella's down for me. The food is exquisite however and it is well worth the outing. The central location means it is a short stroll to town to finish the night at a nearby pub. All in all, a good dining experience.
Random listing from 'Food'...
Our newest creation, Goji & Grape, packs a punch. A blend of dried goji berries (the world's most complete superfood), Marlborough's finest grape seed flour, a dash of freeze dried grapes, all mixed with seeds, nuts and Hawkes Bay honey, this muesli is topped off with a scoop of passionfruit powder to make Goji & Grape a tastebud sensation.
All trademarks, images and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective companies.
KIWIreviews is an independent entity, part of the Knock Out News Group. This is a free public forum presenting user opinions on selected products, and as such the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of kiwireviews.nz and are protected under New Zealand law by the "Honest Opinion" clause of the Defamation Act of 1992. KIWIreviews accepts no liability for statements made on this site, on the premise that they have been submitted as the true and honest opinions of the individual posters. In most cases, prices and dates stated are approximate and should be considered as only guidelines.
"What do you do when you discover an endangered animal that only eats endangered plants?"